“It’s baysti (dishonourable) to say something bad about an elder in our lowkh (people/clan). And if I did, you know what they’d have done to me? What they’d have done to my mum? Better to accept it…. what can you do?… fucks you up though, I guess.”
Asian client at BtS
Listen to a powerful interview with British-Nigerian, Kevin Marshall on his experience of child sexual abuse and sharing this in the face of cultural taboo – click here to hear the interview on BBC Sounds
As a 49 year old who had lost a parent and been working at home for nearly 2 years I was suffering from depression, work related stress and trying to handle massive changes in responsibilities to my family including my mother who survived my father.
For the first time I felt very out of control of my life and turned to a local counselling service for an outlet and support. This helped to some extent but after a number of months the usefulness of these sessions had seemed to run their course.
A family member recommended a counselling service that had helped someone in a similar situation to me and I am grateful for that. My counsellor was quick to understand my challenges and I felt I made more progress and got to the root of some of my issues which I hadn’t been able to in previous counselling. My counsellor asked questions which were formulated to help me to understand how my more informative years shaped the individual I am now. His understanding and insights into our shared cultural background were invaluable.
As always we are a work in progress but in the space of a few weeks I have benefited from these sessions and feel better equipped to approach the day to day than I did when I began.
I am writing this letter to thank you for your guidance and support. You have played a great role in helping me.our support has been greatly appreciated.
I think what you do is such a blessing. I am so grateful to be able to have such professional and loving help to keep me mentally strong and on track. You made me mentally stronger.
You made me feel important in my life, as I was controlled and harassed by my wife and Inlaws. You made me like I was worth it.
I still remember my first call. I was shattered and was unable to talk, face any one , talk with any one, scared etc. My counseling started which was free of cost and every week I learned new things and that made me mentally strong. The story which you use to tell me to understand which helped me to come out from depression.
I still remender Red Flag which you have told me and your techniques to explain the situation and make the right move in situations. I believe God can’t come to help, but he always says he can send someone to help and for me it was you Imran.
Mens mental wellbeing is often overlooked. When I first encountered my problems, I felt that there was no where to turn and that I wouldn’t find anyone who understands me. Alhamdullillah I was put into contact with Imran at Breaking the Sielnce. Since I started speaking to Imran, I have felt like I have someone to discuss my mental wellbeing without being judged and without holding back. I look forward to my session every week. Imran understands my background as an asian man and I believe what Breaking the Silence are doing will help numerous men out there who previously wouldnt even consider talking. I would definately recommend anyone to try it…
I just don’t know where to begin but what I know is a simple ‘Thank you’ message won’t be enough.
When I called you in January 2021 – I knew exactly my state of health and mind. Redbridge council gave me your number in early December 2020 but I took almost more than a month to call your number and speak about the abuse I was going through in my married life for more than 17 years ,because I always thought it is not a good idea for a ‘man’ to discuss his family and personal issues to anyone outside four wall from family home as that’s how I was brought up.
Mid January I somehow knew things were really going worst and I felt my brain was just going to burst and I needed help – that’s how I took THE most best decision in my life to ring your number after so much of hesitation. If you had not attended the phone for some reason on that day – I can’t imagine my state today as I’m sure I wouldn’t have the courage to call again.
It is still a miracle you answered my phone and I’m still not even sure how I opened up everything – I was so surprised and very thankful to know you were so kind and listened to my side of story without judging me as I’m still sure most of the people out there still treat men with my background are abusers and perpetrators. Well, I didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘perpetrator’ until I spoke to you.Now I have absolutely no shame in accepting the fact that what I don’t know – Thank you for making me realise who I’m, my strengths and weaknesses.
You spent most of your time building my confidence slowly without giving up your hope for me. Today, if I take a step back and look at myself and the conversation we had in 10 months – I couldn’t believe myself on the progress I made with your help. I have to say this – Your voice has some magic in it that comforts people, builds trust and brings the truth from all sides of the story.
I feel like I have my freedom after 17 years and do what I want to do in life. I have started to make phone calls to my parents from home. Sleeping in a bed in my own home. Cooking the food that I like. Inviting friends to my home. Joined a sports club to keep myself busy. Above all, I’m breathing fresh air in my home and my home is clean.
All I want to say is – you have not just rescued me from the mess – but helped my parents, my children and my sister by rescuing me and putting me back on the track. I know my story has not come to a good end yet but I think from the confidence you gave me I’m having the courage to face the hurdles on my way and I know who to call when I need some help!!
I can’t stop thinking how many men out there like me are suffering in silence without help – and I want to do my bit by sponsoring at least one man and rescue him from the pain that I went through and show him what freedom is all about. Please let me know how to do it.
Thank you again and I will speak to you soon.
I was referred to Imran via the mens adult line on the 29th April 2022. I began my therapy sessions with Imran the following week. The urgency, and quality of support which I’ve been receiving is impeccable. I’m very grateful to Imran. He has been a life saver.
My experience so far has been nothing but exceptional. From my very first session I felt welcomed, I felt listened to, and I felt no form of prejudice towards me. I was accepted for who I am, and specially being a minority male victim of domestic violence.
These were some of the reasons why I was able to open up and express my trauma of domestic violence. I will strongly recommend Imran to any victim of domestic violence regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality or disability. His empathetic approach, knowledge and understanding makes his services unique.
He possesses the soft and hard skills needed, and for this reason I want to give my positive testimony. I’ll strongly recommend any individual in need of domestic violence support to